Sat. Sep 26th, 2020

By Donna Westfall – October 23, 2018 –

This week, both Del Norte County Supervisors Howard and Cowan are in Washington D.C. presenting our issues to the administration.  Supervisor Howard has been back there several times to meet with various decision makers on the county’s time.  This is Cowan’s first trip utilizing county funds.

Greg Burns, our Washington D.C. lobbyist, has said several times that we need all of the supervisors to be back there to present our case if we want to be effective.  In this case the more, the better.

Last year, Sup. Berkowitz, as a field representative for our former congressman, thought that it was so important for us to be represented in D.C. that he spent his own funds to go back there.  

At the October 9th meeting of the board of supervisors, Berkowitz asked that an agenda item be included that would recommend discuss and take action that Supervisor Gitlin should also be sent back to D.C. to lobby for us.  Fast forward to today October 23rd.  This simple request failed to be included on the agenda.  In view of this omission and with only three members present at the meeting, Sup. Berkowitz made the following statement.

“Mr. Chairman at the last meeting I made the following request.  In view of the fact that Greg Burns, our Washington D.C. Lobbyist  has suggested that our board, consisting of 5 supervisors, come back as much as possible to present our case to the congress and administration, and due to the fact that all of us have been back there, except one supervisor that being Supervisor Gitlin, and considering that Supervisor Gitlin the second longest tenure of current supervisors, therefore I request that the next agenda include an  item that we send Supervisor Gitlin along with a supervisor of his choosing back to Washington D.C. to present our issues to the Administration and congress and that this item be up for discussion and possible action.  That request failed to get on this meeting’s agenda. So Mr. Chairman I move that this item be placed on the agenda for the next meeting.”

There you have it.  A simple motion to have the item put on the next agenda.  You would have thought it would sail through, but not with this obstructionist board.  With Berkowitz making the motion and a second by Sup. Gitlin, it should have passed with all three supervisors at the meeting voting for it, but that’s not what happened.  Supervisor Hemmingsen voted NO, with no explanation, therefore causing the motion to fail.

Why is this board so afraid to have Sup. Gitlin involved in fighting for our issues?  The bottom line is that I don’t expect to see this simple request on the agenda at the next meeting, however in talking with Sup. Berkowitz, he feels that this is such an important issue that I expect that he will continue this fight to have all of the supervisors involved in fighting for our issues.

Sup. Howard makes the point that it is important that all of the supervisors be on board with our issues and pull together, yet he continually hogties the board by refusing to let all of the supervisors to be involved in working on the issues that affect all of us. 

We wonder just how long he will allow this board to be a board of three instead of a board of five?

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